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Curtis Compton / AJC Sports
Can Georgia senior linebacker Tae Crowder become the playmaker the defense desperately needs on the second level?

Georgia football: Way-too-early team spring position group rankings

ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart has emphasized several times in several ways that championship football requires all units working together.

Indeed, much of the Bulldogs’ offensive and defensive scheming is predicated on Smart and his staff analyzing strengths and weaknesses and arriving at core alignments and plays.

The sooner Georgia knows itself, the better, and that makes the Bulldogs’ 15 spring practice dates pivotal.

Here’s a way-too-early positional group ranking, an order that could be affected by an updated injury report or the emergence of a newcomer.

1. Offensive line

The lock: Junior left tackle Andrew Thomas, Outland Trophy candidate.

The question: Sophomore Cade Mays, where does he fit in?

2. Defensive backs

The lock: Senior safety J.R. Reed, team leader of defense.

The question: Sophomore Tyson Campbell, will skills match elite speed and ideal length?

3. Specialists

The lock: Senior kicker Rodrigo Blankenship.

The question: Can Georgia adequately replace Mecole Hardman in return game?

4. Quarterbacks

The lock: Junior Jake Fromm, third-year starter, offense on his shoulders.

The question: How much of the offense can freshman Dwan Mathis pick up?

5. Linebackers

The lock: None.

The question: Can senior Tae Crowder become the playmaker Georgia lacked last year?

6. Running backs

The lock: Junior tailback D’Andre Swift, Hesiman Trophy candidate

The question (s): Will production match 5-star ratings of James Cook and Zamir White in 2019?

7. Receivers/tight ends

The lock: Junior receiver J.J. Holloman is the go-to target.

The question: Can graduate transfer tight end Eli Wolf fill the void left by Isaac Nauta?

8. Defensive linemen

The lock: None.

The question: Will sophomore Jordan Davis become an SEC dominator?

More Georgia football spring 2019

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Kirby Smart provides preview on young receivers 

Georgia secondary still best in the SEC?